Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ireland trip Day 7, Galway, Co. Galway, Ireland

 Today a local professor and archaeologist, Paul Gosling, took us on a walking tour of Galway, especially showing us medieval sites.  Part of the anciet city walls are inside a shopping mall!  I was especially taken with the details of the buildings, so i was always at the end of the group as I was busy looking up!

 This is a medieval castle belonging originally to one of the ruling families.  Galway was not a castle city, I mean it didn't have a central castle with a ruler and a city that grew up around it, but one built by 14 merchant families (often called the 14 tribes of Galway) like a cartel so to speak.  All of the designs have meaning, usually something to do with the family or honoring a marriage.

This wall is only that a wall moved from it's original site, probably more than once as it has parts that can be dated at different times.  Anyway, one of the magistrate's sons had killed someone and his life was forfeit but he was extremely popular so a mob gathered to demand his freedom.  His father, supposedly hung him from the window.  That's wrong though as the window is the wrong time period!  That's the story though.

 The Hall of the Red Earl is a archealogical dig of the customs house of medieval Galway.  Completed but left visible and covered.
We ended our tour at the city gates by the river.  Theses gates were actually for tossing rubbish into the swamp just beyond.

After the tour we had a free afternoon, I had lunch at McDonnas-fish and chips again!  Then I went walk about.  I returned to the Protestant Cathedral where Columbus worshiped-at the time there was only the one church.  Apparently his visit prior to "discovering" the new world is recorded in historical documents.

Gorgeous window, eh?

After rest and a pain pill for my aching left leg we went to Glenlo Abbey for dinner and a discussion on the "Big Houses" of Ireland as well as W.B.Yeats and Lady Gregory.  Our speaker for the evening was Sean Ryder Head of the English department at the university in Galway.  Interestingly enough he was born in Montana and his family returned to Ireland when he was 13, what a shock that must have been!  I must admit I didn't have a clue when it came to Lady Gregory nor did I remember much about Yeats from those long ago English Literature classes at Baylor!

No comments: